Holidays Lunar New Year New Year's

Chinese New Year A Big Celebration In Malaysia

Chinese New Year hampers for sale. (Evangeline Han/YJI)

MELAKA, Malaysia — Chinese New Year is a big-scale celebratory season for all the Chinese in Malaysia. It is the time for celebration, eating cookies and giving out money.

Preparations for Chinese New Year begin a month before the actual first day, with families doing their spring cleaning their homes and baking traditional cookies.

On the eve of Chinese New Year, most families have reunion dinners. Those who are working away from home often go back to their hometowns for the dinner.

Chinese New Year cookies and mandarin oranges. (Evangeline Han/YJI)

Usually, the dinner is held in the home of the family patriarch or matriarch, but having the dinner at restaurants is becoming more and more popular.

A few dishes at Chinese New Year’s dinner. (Evangeline Han/YJI)

My family had our reunion dinner at my house, with my uncles and their families coming back from Kuala Lumpur. As usual, my mom and my two aunties did all the cooking.

Traditionally, the matriarch of the family and her daughter-in-laws would do all the cooking.

On the morning of the first day of New Year, red packets filled with paper money are given to the unmarried, young people of the family by the grandparents, parents, uncles and aunties.

Time flies by so fast and the first days of the Chinese New Year has already passed.

My extended family has all gone back to their homes.

School starts again today and the Chinese New Year mood will probably die out, although the festival officially lasts for 15 days.

Evangeline Han is a Junior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.